Green Money Savers

beeswrap sandwiches and a pear

Living sustainably doesn’t have to be expensive. The staff at Green America is pretty savvy when it comes to being green on a budget, so we’ve rounded up a few of our best tips to save money. 

I love shopping at consignment and thrift stores. It’s like built-in recycling because you’re buying used clothes, and you get them at really affordable prices. ” —Amanda Heerwig, foundations & business relations manager

“A lot of people don’t realize that electric appliances use energy even when they’re turned off, and this energy use can add up to $100- $200 to your electric bill per year. To avoid this ‘phantom load,’ use power strips to plug in most of your electric devices, so you can turn several all the way off all at once.” —Sytonia Reid, associate editor

“I enjoy going to garage sales to get clothes for my kids, but if there’s something specific we need—like a black concert outfit (required for band) or a classic white tank for layering—I’ll often shop at ThredUp.com. It’s an online store for secondhand clothing that carries several recognized brands. You can sell your old items on ThredUp, too.”—Tracy Fernandez Rysavy, editor-in-chief

“I like to use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning just about anything. It’s cheaper than the cleaning products you would buy in most stores.”—Davina Etwaroo, executive assistant  

“I commute by foot and use the time to listen to Audible and make calls. The area I live in now is very walkable and convenient to most of the places I go.” —Jessica Tunon, accountant

“Growing your own produce can save you grocery money and help cool the planet, too, if done with regenerative practices. We can teach you how to transform an average garden into one capable of pulling carbon out of the atmosphere, and we hope you'll register your garden. You can also join the climate victory gardens Facebook group to share photos, stories, and tips.”—Jes Walton, food campaigns manager

“I like to ride my bike to the Metro, which saves me money because bike parking is free. We also replaced the light bulbs in our home with LEDs, which reduced our electric bill.”—Todd Larsen, executive co-director

“I’m in love with Beeswrap, reusable food wrap made from organic cotton and beeswax that you can use in place of plastic wrap. I feel better about wrapping up my leftovers in Beeswrap than in plastic wrap [see photo above], and it’s also a lot lighter than a plastic or glass container when I’m carrying my lunch to work. Since cotton and beeswax are compostable, all you do when its year or so of useful life is up is throw it in your compost bin!” —Dana Christianson, membership marketing director

“Dressing for the weather and season in your home is something I like to do. In the winter, you can keep the thermostat low and wear sweaters. In the summer, keep it high and wear shorts, tanks, and thin shirts. Or go without clothes.” —Shireen Karimi, director of digital communications